How to Unprotect Excel Sheet without Password

Have you lost the password for the Excel sheet? You don't seem to remember what was the password? Are you worried to lose data in your excel sheet because you have lost the password? Then you do not have to worry because in this article we have gathered some solutions to overcome this problem. Organizations and individuals use to protect the Excel worksheets with password as it contains important data but if you have lost or don't know the password, you can open your Excel sheet without any problem. There are some easy methods listed below that you can use and unprotect Excel sheet.

Solution 1: Use ZIP to Unprotect Excel Sheet with Password

How to unprotect a worksheet in Excel 2003 and Excel 2016? If you do not know the password for the Excel sheet, you can try this method to unprotect the worksheet. For this method you should have WinRAR application. This method can be used to unprotect both Excel 2003 and 2016 worksheets so follow the steps and access your data after unprotecting the worksheet.

Step 1: Change the extension of the Excel file from *.xls or *.xlsx to *.zip and click Yes to confirm. For this purpose, Right click on Excel file and the click on Rename.

rename extension

Step 2: Open the ZIP file with WinRAR. Now click on xl and then on worksheets. There you will see all the worksheets in *.xml format which are in you Excel file for example sheet1.xml, sheet2.xml, sheet3.xml. Now open the worksheet which you want to unprotect with Notepad.

open xml

Step 3: In the .xml file erase the tag <sheetProtection password=… and save the file and close it.

delete tag

Step 4: If any dialogue box pops up asking to update the archive file, click on Yes.

update archive

Step 5: Now rename the ZIP file back to *.xls/*.xlsx extension. And when you will open the Excel document you will able to edit the worksheets which you unprotected.

Solution 2: Use Google Docs to Unprotect Excel Sheet

This method is less tricky. The short method is that you copy the whole worksheet which is protected and then paste it in a blank Google Docs sheet and save it. Doing this you will be able to edit the new worksheet without any trouble. Follow the steps and see how to unprotect Excel sheet using Google docs.

Step 1: Open your browser and open docs.google.com.

docs google

Step 2: To use Google Docs, you first have to sign in. If you have already an account, then sign in or make a new account.

google sign in

Step 3: After signing in, click on the Main Menu which is at top let corner and then click on Sheets.

google sheets

Step 4: Now make a new Blank spreedsheet.

blank spreedsheet

Step 5: Now you have to open the Excel file. Open the worksheet which is protected and click on the top left corner. With this, you will select all the cells in that worksheet. You can also do this, by selecting the first cell and then press Ctrl + A.

blank spreedsheet

Step 6: After selecting all the cells, copy it by clicking on Copy or pressing Ctrl + C.

copy worksheet

Step 7: Now go back to Google Docs and select the cells with clicking on top left corner or you can also do this by pressing Ctrl + A.

select all google docs

Step 8: Now click on Edit > Paste or press Ctrl + V and save the worksheet. This data will be unprotected and you will be able to edit this worksheet without any concern.

paste worksheet

Also read: How to Remove Password from Excel File.

Solution 3: Use Developer's Code to Unprotect Excel Sheet

This is another method to unprotect the Excel worksheet when you don't know the password. this is actually Excel VBA unprotect sheet method. You run the macro in the Visual Basic editor and unlock the Excel worksheet. This is method is little tricky but follow the steps and you will be able to unprotect the Excel file.

Step 1: Open the Excel file and open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. To do so press Alt + F11.

Step 2: Right click on the worksheet you want to unprotect and click on View Code.

open vba

Step 3: In the left panel a new window will be displayed. Copy the following code and paste it into that window.

Sub PasswordRecovery()
Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer
Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer
Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer
Dim i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer
On Error Resume Next
For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66
For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66
For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66
For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126
ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _
Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _
Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
MsgBox "One usable password is " & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _
Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _
Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
Exit Sub
End If
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
End Sub

vba code

Step 4: Click on the Run or press F5. This will start the process to retrieve the password. It will take some time so wait until it completes.

run vba code

Step 5: When the password retrieving process completes, a dialogue box will open showing you the password. Click on OK.

password retrieve

Step 6: You will see that your Excel worksheet is now unprotected. Save the file and you will be able to use it without any problem in future.

excel worksheet unprotected

Solution 4: Use PassFab for Excel to Unprotect Excel Sheet without Password

This is the best method to unprotect the Excel sheet in case you have lost or have forgotten the password. In this method you will use PassFab for Excel software. This software is a complete package to tackle the password recovery problems. You can use it when

  • You forget MS Excel file password.
  • You lose MS Excel document password.
  • Your Excel Spreadsheet password doesn't work.
  • You want to read contents in password protected Excel files.

So how to unprotect Excel sheet without password? Follow the guide to do so.

Step 1: Open the Excel Password Recovery tool and choose "Remove Excel Restriction Password" option.

import file

Step 2: Import your locked Excel file to this software click clicking the "+" button.

dictionary settings

Step 3: Now click on Remove and the procedure will initiate to get rid of the password.

start unprotecting

Step 4: When the procese complete, you will get a prompt that your password has been removed.

password is fuound

Here is a related video tutorial about how to unprotect Excel worksheet without password:

Bottom Line

So in this article you have been guided on how to unprotect the Excel worksheet. Losing password for your Excel worksheet is bothersome due to this you can lose the important data and information present in the sheet. That's why we have selected some Excel password recovery ways. You can try any of the method and unprotect the Excel sheet.

Updated on / Posted by Shirley Howard to Excel Tips / Follow @Shirley Howard

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